Neoliberal economics isn't working and students are demanding more from their course reading than the 8th edition of Macroeconomics can provide. Following the news
that Economics students in Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society
and Aditya Chakrabortty's excoriating and controversial commentary
on the state of contemporary economics, published in the Guardian
, Verso presents a reading list of economics titles which challenge the mainstream neoliberal consensus and offer powerful alternative models in contemporary economics.
First up, Wolfgang Streeck
's analysis of the 2008 financial crisis, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
Placing the crisis in the context of the neoliberal transformation of society that began in the 1970s, Streeck's focus is on the tensions that this has produced between states, voters and capitalist enterprises. Buying Time asks fundamental questions about the compatibility between democracy and contemporary forms of capitalism.
Read Streeck's excellent article on the end of capitalism at the New Left Review
In an interview last weekend with This is Hell's Chuck Mertz, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown author Phiip Mirowski discussed the insidious way in which neoliberalism thought has seeped into every area of our lives, including the discipline of economics, environmental denialism, economic policies, and even social media. For example, Mirowski cites Ilana Gershon on how Facebook turns individuals into "neoliberal agents:"
It takes your information for free, and sells it to others for a profit ... I construct a profile on Facebook with stereotypical material and then try to measure my worth by attracting fake friends with an artificial metric. Subtle algorithms force me to continually update my profile, teaching me that there's no stable, coherent self that I must return to. Indeed, I can be anything I want to be on Facebook.
In response to whether or not the lack of criticism of neoliberalism has to do with a fear of being labeled a socialist, Mirowski responds: